An increase in urbanization is the leading factor in Cape Town’s housing crisis.

With only one in three registered on the city of Cape Town’s housing database, the city has encouraged more people in this sector to register.

The city said in a statement recently that almost 70% of informal back-yarders in the metro would not be eligible for a housing opportunity because they were not registered for subsidized housing.

The city says increased urbanization across South Africa over the past decade has resulted in a steady growth of backyard dwellings on publicly- and privately-owned land.

“The great need for affordable housing and services in and near urban centers especially means that we must ensure that we work in a planned, systematic and fair manner.

“It is really important for backyard dwellers to apply to register on the housing database. Back-yarders who are not registered on the database cannot be considered for housing opportunities created for them by the city and Western Cape Government. “

The city said that all qualifying beneficiaries and especially backyard dwellers should ensure that they were registered and that their details were correct and up to date.

“We also continue to focus on enhanced service delivery especially to back-yarders residing on council-owned properties. Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to introduce basic services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned properties.

“The back-yarder program started in 2014 and entails the provision of one-to-one water, refuse and electricity services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned property, such as rental units.

“The Municipal Finance Management Act determines that public money may not be used for enhancing private properties. Therefore, much work still needs to be done to see how back-yarder services will be rolled out to those residing on private properties within the framework of the law.

How to register on the housing database

The city said that urbanization was a challenge that all tiers of government, as well as the private sector and civil society organisations should deal with.

We “must work together and ensure that we are ahead of the curve with our plans to address rapid urbanization. We must bring our communities on board with the alternatives on offer”, the city’s member of the mayoral committee for human settlements, councilor Malusi Booi, said.

He also explained that the service was free and that there was no payment for registration.

Applicants can register on the housing database online, at city housing offices, MyEstate mobile offices that comes to various areas and at the Parow or Wale Street walk-in centers.

Applicants need a certified copy of their IDs and their spouses’ IDs, a completed housing assistance form, copies of their children’s birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, details of special needs where applicable, as well as supporting documents such as medical records and proof of address (FICA).

 

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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].